Old School Long Lens
Proper Long Lens technique is an essential technique (video). It’s not something I invented but was passed to me at the beginning of my career. This age old technique assures the sharpest possible image when using any lens that attaches to a tripod via its tripod collar. Used with proper Handholding Technique, you will capture the sharpest possible images!
First and foremost -you must rest your hand on the lens barrel above the tripod head! (you can also put your hand on the bottom of the lens barrel if you’re pointing the lens down) You rest your hand on the lens just like you’d rest it in your lap. Vibrations are what causes images to be out of focus, vibrations that normally start at the camera. These vibrations travel as a wave to the front element and if they are not stopped, they travel back through the lens to the film plane, causing images to be out of focus. The simple resting of a hand on the lens barrel stops this wave before it reaches the front.
Second – use an eyecup and press you eye against it! This again is another way to minimize or eliminate any vibration that might start with the taking of the photograph. If you can’t remember to press against the eyecup like I did in the beginning, put a sticky note on the back of the camera to remind you.
Third – roll you finger when firing! Too many photographers poke at their shutter release to fire the camera, causing all sorts of unwanted movement. You want to rest your finger on the shutter release at all times and then slightly roll it unto the shutter to activate the camera and then to actually fire the camera. This takes practice, but makes a big difference!
Fourth – practice, practice, practice! You can’t expect this to be second nature or remain second nature if you don’t do it all the time. Whether shooting for real or just staying in shape, take the gear out and practice so you don’t have to think about it when you’re out shooting.